Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Summer Times!

So its summer! The time for projects, possibilities, and defiance of the natural order. Of course I live in a hazy sorta perma summer but whatever.

I was going to spend some time talking about The Kindly Ones, but I think I want to write about some other things instead.

Persona 3. Irrationally I started Persona 3 again knowing full way that a game I really want to play comes out tomarrow. Fuck I can be stupid. Still I think I can play both games concurrently and be fine. But yeah persona 3. Persona 3 is one of those games that stands up and says, "look games can be art too". More to the point Persona 3 tells a story that really can't function in another medium. It is the sort of thing that needs that visceral simulous/responce effect of the game player. They are perpetrating these actions which have far reaching implications acrost the game's world.

Okay now to make all of that make sense. Kinda, persona 3 is a wierd game. Okay you are transfered to a new school. You get set up in a strange dorm that is mostly empty. You discover quickly that there is a hidden hour between midnight and one am where showdows come to life an eat people who are diffrent. Everyone in the dorm is diffrent. All diffrent people have a persona they can summon to help them aid in fighting the shadows. Thier persona reflects thier personality. NOW this next part is important. The Main charecter (MC) posseses the ability to summon multiple personas. Not only that but his personas gain power based on the people you associate with.

So you spend part of the game going to school and running around town talking to people. Then at night you go fight deamons in this wierd tower that only you and your friends know excist.

The thing is though is that when you befreind people you do so in a very artificial way. The main charecter has no dicernable center from which he operates. Instead he tells all the people around them the things they want to hear the most so they will like him more. This in turn levels up the deamons inside of his head. Now this would be alright but we do some things of questionable morality. We convince a school mate to keep excercising on a wounded knee to the point of hospitalizing himself, we convince a student make advances on a teacher, we carry out an online relationship with a teacher who hates her job, we also sleep with many diffrent girls.

Now the player is motivated to do this because he gets stronger and stronger head deamons when he does. The game can also be very difficult so it helps. However, these are all people with real problems, who are relying on you as a friend you are just using them for your own gain. After awhile you begin to realize that the MC is a sociopath, and yet it is the fact that he is a sociopath that allows him to progress farther and faster than any of his teamates. Which is slightly frightening and absolutely brilliant. The game very specifically encourages the mc to only give the responces his friends want to hear. Whereas another game called Steambot chronicals gives the player free rieghn on the mc's personality and lets him be an asshole or a nice guy depending on the player's whims. You are rewarded by deliberatly manipulating people to like you. Good stuff.

Unfortunatly it is hard and I forgot to save last time I played like a moron. I'll get back into it though. It is damn near a 70 hour game so I'll admit that I am more than a little intimidated. Oh well.

Next I want to tackle Vampire the Eternal Struggle or V:tes. I really like the game, but I am running into the problem where I can't effectivly build a deck or two. THe reason for this is because it is a 5 player game. If I trick out one or two decks then the other decks would have a much harder time standing a chance. I already have two decks that tend to dominate right out of the box and making them even shineyer would be even more of a pain in the ass. Oh well.

As far at the game goes. NEAT! It really is a brilliantly desighned game. Much tighter than Magic or even Netrunner. The game is basicly an excercise in resource management. It gives you three resources to work with, you hand, your pool, and your vampires. You need vampires in play to do anything other than the most basic of actions. You need to keep cards moving in your hand otherwise you won't be able to do anything but the most basic of actions. So the game forces agression in order to win. I LIKE agression. I also like how combat is not the key to winning. In fact combat has nothing to do with winning. It is just something that happens that may or may not be to your benifit. As a result playing a combat heavy deck requires the most generalized stradigy.

This is due to the pretator/prey relationship. THe way to win is to get points. To get points you must oust your prey, withdraw sucessfully, or be the last man standing. So the source of 99% of your agression will be from one person. One person who you will generally be unable to attack effectivly unless you have a specialized deck. Since there are victory points involved it is understood that you will be ousted at some point, but if that happens you still might win. Which is also something I find neat. It really opens up what decks can do and how they work. Because you need only to earn 3 victory points not murder 4 other players in the face. Whatever, I dunno.

I'm thinking I want to build a "fake stealth combat deck" basicly it uses a lot of cards that lets me control who my blockers are, but it also allows me to make combat an unpaletable experience for my prey. I'll break actual deck talk into a seperate blog entry though so you can skip it if you'd like.

Its nice that it is a little bit more focused than illuminati which is our other social game.

The other problem with building decks is my fairly limited card pool. Even after buying a booster box I have a glut of cards I am not interested in and a gap of cards that I need. Since decks lack a card limit rule I often times need 6 or 7 copies of the same card to get the deck to do the things I need it to do. This becomes even more problematic when most cards do two diffrent things so one card might be useful for 4 or 5 decks. There is also the issue of unusually good distribution. Something I thought I would never ever hear myself complaining about. Yet here I am. :-P Still I am thrilled to death to be playing it and I greatly look fowards to tinkering with the game a whole hell of a lot.

Twitter. I have come to a diffrent conclusion. I used Myspace to keep track of my friends. Now most of my friends no longer use myspace and have switched to diffrent venues. As a result my myspace account is mostly inert and something that I now only check occationally. This has become my new mouthpiece to the world. Now twitter will replace the endless survays I used to fill out for fun. So that is back. I guess. Yeah wierd eh?

Of course if I stop updating it in three weeks and loose interest I'll just figgure something else out. The day I made and deleated my account wasn't a good one. So I am allowed to change my mide. Sue me.

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